USDA Summer Feeding Programs Rapid Review
Children and adolescents who receive meals through the School Breakfast Program and the School Lunch Program during the school year may be at risk for hunger or poor nutrition over the summer months. The USDA-funded Summer Food Service Program, or Summer Meals Program, provides free meals to children and adolescents in low-income areas when school is out over the summer or during school vacations.
A USDA Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review (NESR) team conducted a rapid review for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Policy Support to summarize evidence on USDA-funded summer feeding programs to inform FNS communication, research, and program guidance. The objective of this rapid review was to answer the following question: What is the relationship between participation in a USDA-funded summer feeding program and food security, food sufficiency, diet quality, food acceptance, and weight-related outcomes; and what best practices exist in summer feeding programs?
The staff at NESR specializes in conducting food- and nutrition-related systematic reviews and evidence syntheses. NESR staff worked with the review sponsors to determine the scope of the question and develop the rapid review protocol. A detailed description of the methodology used to complete this rapid review is found within the report.
The NESR team are scientists from the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion who have expertise in systematic review methodology and in nutrition science, dietetics, public health, and library science. NESR staff worked with staff from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Policy Support to determine the scope of the question and develop the rapid review protocol. A list of the staff who supported this work can be found at the link below.